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Now That HotelTonight is Live, What Kind of Deals Does it Have?

December 21, 2010 at 5:02 PM | by | Comments (0)

The other week we speculated about a new mobile booking site to enter the ever-crowded hotel booking market called HotelTonight. Well, just in time for your last-minute panic attacks about getting a hotel room for New Year's Eve, the site has officially launched.

(But since it's a mobile booking site, we should really say, the app is now available to download.)

So what makes HotelTonight different from other booking sites? First off, the site promises exclusive, members-only rates. And becoming a member will automatically get you $10 off your first booking. Secondly, as its name suggest, Hotel Tonight enables you to book a room for that night as late as 2am. Here's what they say:

Is it 2am and you're too tired to drive home to Marin? Is it midnight in Hollywood and you want to keep the party going? Did you plans change and you need a place to crash at the last, last minute?

We built HotelTonight because we didn't think anyone did a good enough job with the same-day hotel bookings. We only work with top hotels that we personally vet. Since the rooms go empty unless we sell them, we bring you phenomenal rates.

Eager to see what hotels HotelTonight has in their stable and at what price, we headed to the app store to download this to our phone. Once you download the app in the iTunes app store (sorry, no Droid or Blackberry apps out yet), you sign in or join up (remember joining up gets you a $10 credit.)

The "sales" begin every day at noon, meaning the last-minute rates for hotels for that night don't really come online until noon PST. We checked the rates for tonight and found that each city--San Francisco, Hollywood and New York had three hotels available, along with photos and things to know about each hotel. Here are the rates we found and compared:

UPDATE: all prices from HotelTonight include taxes.

New York
· Ace New York: The hotel that has so much more going on than just rooms and a lobby bar is $186 tonight, including taxes. The Ace Hotel was offering a bunk bed room for $159 which works out to be about $185 with taxes. The only thing is we couldn't tell from HotelTonight what kind of rooms they were offering.
Other options include the Jumeriah Essex House for $295 down from $299 (pre-taxes) on the hotel's site and the Room Mate Grace for $165 versus $179 (pre-taxes) on their website.

San Francisco
· Hotel Vitale: An upscale JDV Hotel is going for just $167 tonight. When we looked at Hotel Vitale's website they were currently asking for $219. Score!
Other options include the Hotel Adagio for $150 (the hotel's site says $139 pre-taxes) and the Executive Hotel Vintage Court for $80 (the hotel's website says $95.)

Los Angeles
· Chateau Marmont: The perennial celebrity hideaway is currently going for $371 a night tonight. A pricey last-minute hotel for sure but the Chateau Marmont's website was offering it for $393, including taxes. But again, we don't know if HotelTonight is giving us a standard room option or a junior suite.
Other options include The Palihouse Holloway for $182 a night on HotelTonight which is going for $175, before taxes, on Palihouse's website. Again we don't know what kind of room is being offered by HT. The Residence Inn Beverly Hills has rooms for $148 down from $209 on the Marriot site.

We say definitely add this app to your collection as we've personally been stuck trying to find a hotel at 1am before without having to pay a $400 rack rate and these guys are offering some serious deals.

Now the idea is genius and we love having special rates for last-minute hotels at our fingertips but we'll see how long the savings can last. We also hope they could clear up the room type so you could know if you were getting a deal or not. But then again, if it's 2am and you need a room, maybe you won't have time/mental capacity to be comparison shopping.

Right now the hotels are only available in New York, San Francisco and Hollywood. And the app is only available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users which makes it a bit limited. However, an employee at HotelTonight tells us other mobile platforms are on the horizon.

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